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Time To Close The Broadband Gap

A new Government fund could be the trigger to finally ending broadband misery for thousands of people in rural communities, a leading satellite broadband expert believes.

The £10m Government fund aims to support alternative technology providers to deliver superfast broadband to the most excluded and remote communities.

Turner family

Turner family
Photo courtesy of Northumberland Gazette

The Broadband Delivery programme, which includes the management of the new £10m fund, aims to have enabled pilot projects to be undertaken up and down the country by March 2014. Local authorities are being asked to support pilot projects.

Mark Wynn, managing director of Avonline Broadband, the UK’s largest provider of Next Generation satellite broadband services, said:
“It’s time to close the gap between those who can receive superfast broadband and the thousands who can’t.
“For the five per cent of the UK that will not be connected by large infrastructure schemes by 2017 a new route has to be found. Solutions exist and this new fund will help bring them to rural communities.
“We believe this is great news for the satellite broadband industry as attention finally starts to focus on how our technology is already solving these rural broadband problems today.”

Avonline’s satellite broadband service delivers download speeds of up to 20Mbps anywhere in the UK immediately. There is no phone line needed and no lengthy wait for an upgrade programme.
“Everyone can get fast broadband today through a satellite broadband system, no matter where they live,” said Mark Wynn. “Some local authorities are already making great strides in getting broadband through to remote communities and this fund should help the others to do the same.”

Avonline is already partnering with Northumberland County Council as part of its innovative approach to delivering fast broadband to the county’s residents. The Council’s Northumberland Loan Scheme is helping to support specialist satellite broadband and wireless service providers who are able to quickly reach the harder-to-reach communities.

Within weeks of being appointed, Avonline Broadband has been able to offer Northumberland residents the chance to get fast satellite broadband installed in their homes for just £49 upfront.

One family of five from rural north Northumberland, who had a satellite broadband system installed in November, say their new connectivity has ‘made a real difference’.

The Turner family, from East Ditchburn, near North Charlton, had been relying on a dial-up connection with a typical speed of 31kbps and explained that they "felt increasingly removed from the outside world.”

Mother Linda Turner said: “The new satellite system is fantastic really. It’s so much better than what we had before, it’s amazing. The kids can do their homework, no problem.

“I have done quite a bit of online shopping, which I have never been able to do before. It’s such a difference. It’s nice to be able to keep in touch with everybody and not feel cut off.”


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